Environmental Policy

The Price is Right for Wind Power
April 24, 2012 07:11 AM - MarĂ­a Elena Hurtado, SciDevNet

Generating wind energy is more than twice as cheap as solar photovoltaic (PV) energy production, a study of alternative energy in six developing countries has found. The findings, published in Nature Climate Change last week (15 April), could help inform global debates on financing initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries.

Dalai Lama: Take Care of Our Home
April 23, 2012 08:54 AM - Max Havins, Sierra Club Green Home

This week the Dalai Lama joined two distinguished scientists in highlighting how global warming threatens the one planet we all call home. His message: climate change offers an opportunity for every person to have a positive influence on the rest of the world. Besides, it is in our own best interest to do so. "Each individual’s future depends on the rest of humanity," His Holiness told the crowd at the University of California, San Diego.

Make Earth Day count and start doing things to help all year long
April 22, 2012 08:30 AM - Kara A. DiCamillio, Sierra Club Green Home

Earth Day is a great opportunity to appreciate the planet that provides for us all year long. Sierra Club Green Home has seven simple things you can do for the environment this weekend, and hopefully you will incorporate them into your daily life as well! 1) Attend a clean-up in your community. This weekend there are clean-ups going on all around the country. A simple Web search can help you find one in your city or town. If by chance you cannot find one, don’t hesitate to pick up that stray piece of trash that might be blowing down the road. 2) Conserve water. We use a good amount of water through simple everyday tasks such as brushing our teeth, taking showers, and washing the dishes. There is also the amount of water used to produce our food and other products. Try to track how much water you use in one day, and look for areas where you can reduce your water footprint.

How Can we Separate Man Made Greenhouse Gases from Those Naturally Occurring?
April 21, 2012 10:00 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen

A research team has developed a new monitoring system to analyze and compare emissions from man-made fossil fuels and trace gases in the atmosphere, a technique that likely could be used to monitor the effectiveness of measures regulating greenhouse gases. The University of Colorado Boulder-led team looked at atmospheric gas measurements taken every two weeks from aircraft over a six-year period over the northeast United States to collect samples of CO2 and other environmentally important gases.

Car emissions claim more UK lives than road accidents, study finds
April 20, 2012 11:33 AM - ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen

Emissions from cars, lorries, planes and power stations causes 13,000 premature deaths in the UK each year, according to a new study by MIT researchers. The research team analyzed data from 2005, the most recent year for which information is available. They found that among the various sources of emissions in the country, car and truck exhaust was the single greatest contributor to premature death, affecting some 3,300 people per year. By comparison, the researchers note, fewer than 3,000 Britons died in road accidents in 2005.

National Park Service touts green themes and waives fees
April 20, 2012 08:47 AM - Rob Lovitt, MSNBC.com: Environment

It's not easy being green, but the National Park Service (NPS) has decided it’s worth the effort. On Thursday, the agency that oversees 397 units comprising 84 million acres of land across the country unveiled a new plan to integrate sustainable practices into all aspects of its operations.

Are "improved" Cookstoves in Pakistan better than the traditional ones?
April 20, 2012 06:43 AM - Ashfaq Yusfzai and T. V. Padma, SciDevNet

Programmes to provide rural Pakistani households with so-called improved cookstoves have had a muted response due to a lack of awareness among target communities — particularly among the women who do the cooking, a study has found. The finding comes as separate research suggests that some improved cookstove models actually cause more pollution than traditional mud stoves. Traditional stoves — which run on biomass such as crop waste, dung and twigs — are known to cause indoor air pollution. Indoor and outdoor air pollution have been identified by the WHO has causing an estimated two million deaths each year.

Bike Nation to Make Four Thousand Bicycles Available For Use By Los Angeles Commuters and Visitors
April 19, 2012 08:41 AM - Andrea Oki, JDP

April 15, 2012 (Los Angeles, CA) — At the CicLAvia event in downtown Los Angeles today, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced plans for a bike sharing demonstration project in the City. In the spirit of Mayor Villaraigosa's invitation for "Angelenos to get out of their cars and on to the streets," Bike Nation, the only Southern California-based bike share company, plans to install 400 kiosks with a total of 4,000 bikes throughout the City of Los Angeles, with the first kiosks expected to be in operation during the fourth quarter of 2012. "Bike share programs have proven successful in urban areas around the world and in major cities in the United States," stated Navin Narang, Founder, Bike Nation. "We are excited to work with the City of Los Angeles to implement this demonstration project and provide healthy, low-cost transit options and connectivity between transit connections, business centers and regional destinations." The bicycle sharing demonstration will be a service in which bicycles are made available for public use and are checked-out and returned to self service kiosks. The usage fees for the bicycle share system are incentivized for turnover and trips of less than 30 minutes in duration. Bike Nation will create a system that is safe, efficient and dependable and will provide well-trained, supervised staff and maintenance crew to operate the system.

New Fracking Rules on Air
April 19, 2012 08:01 AM - Andy Soos, ENN

It has been suggested by researchers that there are significant air emissions (primarily methane) associated with fracking wells. As a result and in response to a court deadline, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized standards to reduce harmful air pollution associated with oil and natural gas production. The updated standards, required by the Clean Air Act, included feedback from a range of stakeholders including the public, public health groups, states and industry. As a result, the final standards reduce implementation costs while also ensuring they are achievable and can be met by relying on proven, cost-effective technologies as well as processes already in use at approximately half of the fractured natural gas wells in the United States. These technologies will not only reduce 95 percent of the harmful emissions from these wells that contribute to smog and lead to health impacts, they will also enable companies to collect additional natural gas that can be sold. Natural gas is a key component of the nation’s clean energy future and the standards released today make sure that we can continue to expand production of this important domestic resource while reducing impacts to public health, and most importantly builds on steps already being taken by industry leaders.

A Farm Grows in Brooklyn!
April 19, 2012 06:33 AM - Kara Scharwath, Triple Pundit

Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood will soon be home to a 100,000 square foot, multi-acre rooftop farm that will produce a million pounds of produce per year — enough to feed 5,000 people — without using any dirt. The farm will be built by BrightFarms, a new company with a unique business model that finances, builds, and operates hydroponic greenhouse farms for supermarkets and other retailers who purchase the produce. The Brooklyn farm will be located on top of an eight-story, 1.1 million square foot building that was built in 1916 as a Navy warehouse and is now part of the city’s plans to redevelop the Brooklyn industrial waterfront. Construction is slated to start in the fall with the first harvest of tomatoes, lettuces and herbs expected next spring. Company officials say that once the farm is built, it will be the largest of its kind in the world.

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